How does a business start to improve the feedback it gives and receives?  It begins with self-awareness. Self-awareness goes well beyond just taking a DISC or Myers-Brigg Type assessment.  Yes, these tools are a means to the end. Too many organizations unfortunately see these tools as the end-all-and-be-all of developing employees. They are the beginning – but just the beginning.

Approaching self-awareness encompasses understanding your strengths, limitations, values, and motives.  It helps an individual leverage his strengths and either improve or neutralize his limits.  Equally important, self-awareness is necessary if any employee has any chance of understanding how his or her behaviors and actions impact the responses and receptiveness to bosses, peers and reports.

The role of self-awareness of the manager or a future manager is paramount in coaching others and managing performance.  Without a crystal clear understanding of his own behaviors, motives, and actions, he has no chance of reaching his potential or helping others achieve their potential.   As a manager, you are the quarterback of your team and it is your responsibility to know how far, fast and accurate you can throw the “feedback.”

It is also a manager’s responsibility to know how far, fast and capable your receivers are of catching the ball. Assessments used for self-assessment also help managers understand the unrealized talent as well as potential challenges they have sitting on the bench.  Professional coaches don’t just try out their quarterbacks but assess every player on their team.  They know who can be a starter, back-up and player on special teams. Businesses can learn a lot from professional sports on how to hire and develop successful employees.